Hon. Kingsley Fanwo is the commissioner for information in Kogi State. In this interview with TUNDE OGUNTOLA, he dissociates himself from news making the rounds that he plans to contest for the Yagba House of Representatives seat in 2023 . He also renews his pledge on Governor Bello’s presidential ambition.
Are you nursing the ambition to contest for the House of Representatives seat for Yagba Federal Constituency in the 2023 general elections?
Whatever you have heard so far can better be described as mere rumour . This is because I am not nursing the ambition to contest for House of Representatives election for Yagba Federal Constituency in the 2023 general elections.
The only political ambition I have now is to see my state boss, Governor Yahaya Bello become the President of Nigeria in 2023. In fact, this is a project I am totally committed to.
Please note that though governor Yahaya Bello has not declared his intention to run yet, it will be difficult for him to turn down the requests of Nigerians who are begging him to do so.
What is your opinion on the clamour for Gov Bello’s 2023 presidency?
The past few months have witnessed massive and intensive calls on the governor to come out for the 2023 Presidency. The women, the youth and the generality of Nigerians have come to terms with the unassailable fact of GYB’s magic touch to turn around the fortunes of our nation. I am not surprised that a PDP spokesperson recently said the person they fear is Yahaya Bello.
2023 will be hinged on three key campaign issues which are ; unity, security, and economic prosperity. Governor Yahaya Bello has proven in beyond reasonable doubt that Kogi State he has the Midas Touch as far as these three key issues are concerned. As we can see and attest to, he has united Kogi State more than his predecessors.
Prior to his emergence, as governor, Kogi State was known and described as the kidnap capital of Nigeria. Today, the governor has changed that narrative. The economy of our state has improved geometrically. Industries are springing up every day because we have created an excellent business environment. With Yahaya Bello, Nigeria will witness greatness.
Aside security, what other major strides has governor Yahaya Bello recorded in the state?
Yes, I mentioned security first due to the the level that insecurity has eaten deep into our country. To buttress my point, we have recorded giant strides in other sectors. Take nthe education sector for instance, the GYB Administration has been able to reposition primary, secondary and tertiary institutions to an enviable height in the state.
Visible blocks of classrooms have been constructed across the towns and villages of the state. He has also been able to establish the Confluence University of Science and Technology, Osara in record time. The structure and infrastructure constructed there within a short period are unbelievable. In the Healthcare sector, Kogi State, under GYB saddle remains one of the first few States to start the Health Insurance Scheme, geared towards provoding maximum care for indigent citizens. GYB has also caused a revolution in primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare delivery. The ongoing Referral Hospital at Okene, will no doubt , match anyone in Nigeria when completed. The Idah General Hospital has been completely remodeled and turned into a Specialist Hospital. Zonal Hospitals are being constructed at Isanlu, Koton-karfe and many other places. Also, the State Specialist Hospital in Lokoja is undergoing a massive reconstruction. Work is also at an advanced stage at the Prince Abubakar Audu University Teaching Hospital. Kogi is fast becoming the Nigerian Health Centre of Excellence. Let us move away from Healthcare to road construction. The Governor has also reconstructed the Ankpa Township Roads and many roads across the nine Federal Constituencies.
Some of the roads have been completed , while a few others are ongoing. As we speak, we can boast of the Ganaja Flyover in Lokoja as well as the Lokoja Township Roads. The GYB administration has been able to give electricity to many communities across the state. But our most ambitious electrification project is the Operation Light Up Kogi East. The project is currently connecting over 200 communities in Kogi East to the national grid. I can go on and on. Governor Yahaya Bello has brought more developments to the Kogi State than his predecessors did.
What are the chances of North Central on Gov Bello’s 2023 presidency?
It is not about any geopolitical zone agenda. It should be the Nigerian agenda. It is about who can rescue our nation and consolidate the great achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari. I don’t believe in a rotational Presidency. Let us all vote for the best material to move our nation forward. If I may ask, what has rotation so far done for our beloved nation? Rotation and ethnic agendas are political creations used in distracting our people from deliberating on real issues of development. We are not looking at North Central. We are looking at Governor Yahaya Bello to move Nigeria forward.
Does your governor respect human right? In fact, does the voices of the innocent kogites count?
Governor Yahaya Bello is a democrat who respects the people’s wish. The best avenue to promote that is through journalism and free press. He has been a friend of the media. Recently, he organised a seminar for political and crime reporters to enliven them to their responsibilities to the nation at this critical period. For us to have good governance, we must continue to encourage the media to do a good job.
What result -oriented programmes has the Ministry of Information introduced in the state’s development ?
The State Ministry of Information has helped in mobilisng the people in support of the programmes of the government. People will never support a Government they know nothing about. We have been able to institute programmes that have bridged the information gap between the Government and the governed. Our Kogi Open Governance And Accountability System, KOGAS. KOGAS will be the first of its kind in Nigeria. We also have sensitidation partnership with the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency to enlighten the people about the dangers of drug abuse and how it fuels crime. The Ministry has been very pivotal in promoting the activities of the Government and also our Confluence Business Directory has helped business growth in our dear state.
You talked about some initiatives you introduced in your constituency, how far impactful are they and how do you hope to sustain it?
The GYB Health Centre in Takete Ide was built and well equipped. I thank my boss, Governor Bello for sending his chief of staff, Pharmacist Abdulkareem Jamiu Asuku to commission it. We immediately handed it over to the government, and it is well managed. My joy is that it is helping our people.
Are you satisfied with the performance of the APC led- administration . If yes, What’s your advise to Kogi State electorates?
The APC-Led administration has changed the paradigm of governance in Kogi State. Apart from the massive strides in all the sectors of the economy, GYB brought youth and women inclusiveness into governance. The youth have been able to inject dynamism, pragmatism, and presence into the government of Kogi State. Today, Kogi women are taking decisions in offices and not just in the kitchen. Kogi people will always stand with the All Progressives Congress.
What Can You say of Opposition In Kogi State. Are they vibrant?
We would have wanted a virile opposition to put us on our toes. But PDP has been receiving merciless political beating since 2015 .
What message do you have for Nigerians and Kogi electorate?
I have a strong message and that is, let us desist from promoting insecurity for political gains. President Muhammadu Buhari has been doing his best. Let us all rally behind him to create the nation we desire. We are stronger together.